The Wind-Up Conspiracy Brings Their Old-Timey Gramophone DJ Sessions to Third Friday

Categories: Weird

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Courtesy Photo
Birch (left) and Decca of Wind-Up Conspiracy.
It's pretty safe to say that Roosevelt Row has more than its share of mad DJ sessions conducted amid the arty milieus of both First and Third Friday, especially outside such venues as Jobot or Aside of Heart. But a madcap DJ session done on gramophones? Yeah, that's sort of different.

Such a scenario will unfold later tonight during Third Friday when DJ Birch and DJ Decca, a pair of downtown Phoenix artists interested in all things obscure and old-timey, will embark on a musical journey heretofore unheard of in the local scene -- a special wind-up DJ set on old school phonographs. Way old school, in fact.

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Heavy Metal Superfans Produce an Animated History of Corpse Face-Paint

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An animated history of heavy metal face-paint, featuring Alice Cooper.
Smeared black-and-white corpse face-paint (with a little red blood spatter thrown in for good measure) is synonymous with extreme metal.

Whether it's to enhance a demonic theme or carry on cultural tradition, musicians that utilize the medium are definitely projecting a bold message. (For me, it often points to the fact that the musician is a black metal prima donna.)

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14 Albums That Prove Shark Week and Heavy Metal Belong Together

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Ed Schipul, Creative Commons
Not pictured: Great White
I used to look forward to the arrival of Shark Week like it was a new Hatebreed album release -- amped up and eager for new material and bloodshed. Unfortunately, after a couple years of tuning in, I realized that the masterminds behind the programming didn't really care to bring fresh perspective and stories into the game -- they were doing fine selling the recycled Shark Week content over and over again. Which, ironically, is pretty much how I felt about Hatebreed's two 2009 albums.

It may be a long shot, but I personally think that shark and heavy metal go hand-in-hand. They are both aggressive predators known for being man-eaters and a source of fascination and terror for millions. The theme from Jaws helped inspire horror movie scores for years to come, there's been a wealth of horror movies about sharks with metal soundtracks, and we can't discount the recent D-list made-for-TV movie Sharknado.

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10 Hilariously Dated Videos Weird Al Has Parodied

Categories: Lists, Video, Weird

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"Weird Al" Yankovic has been releasing parody videos since people have been releasing actual videos. He's made fun of decade-defining artists for four decades running. Through all that -- while one-hit wonders fall out of view and genres and styles are declared officially over -- he's remained a timeless figure.

Which doesn't mean his parodies have always been timeless. In honor of his Sunday visit to Mesa Arts Center, we've put together a list of 10 hilariously dated videos Weird Al has parodied. (And any Weird Al fan knows we could have come up with 10 different but equally dated ones.)

Dated doesn't mean bad -- if the songs weren't enjoyable, it'd be tough to get much out of the parodies. This is just a tribute to the increasingly ridiculous way in which Weird Al has avoided getting stuck inside any of the time periods he's committed himself totally to mocking.

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Are Taylor Swift Greeting Cards Better Than Normal Greeting Cards? We Investigate.

Categories: Art, Weird

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She's a multimillion-selling crop (country-pop) artist, a perfumer, and a maneater. Head over to your local Albertsons and take a gander at the greeting cards section and you'll discover Taylor Swift is also adept at slapping pictures of cute puppies onto cardstock and writing gems such as "Wow. Just Wow," on the front, too.

Yep, the 23-year-old mogul has the card market cornered, partnering up with American Greetings last year for a line of sugary-sweet visual cards that include images of everything from kids doing handstands to hands full of rose petals. So, how do the cards, uh, stack up?

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The Best and Worst Beatles Conspiracies (NSFW)

Categories: Weird

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Conspiracy theories are my comfort food. After all, all a conspiracy is "the action of plotting or conspiring," and not just about tin-foil hats and Reptillians. When Reagan's cronies illegally sold weapons to Iran in the Iran-Contra Scandal, that was a conspiracy. When the CIA sold crack to kids in Mena, Arkansas, that was a conspiracy. When my mother guessed my brother was buying drugs from the neighbors, that was a conspiracy.

When it comes to music, conspiracy theories aren't in short number, but they are lacking in substance. That's probably because musicians have a lot less malicious intent than senators or the Illuminati. But there are some bands that attract conspiracy theories like you wouldn't believe, and The Beatles are at the top of the list. People really, really like writing and believing things about The Beatles (no matter how outlandish). So in honor of former singer Tony Sheridan (he sang with the group when they were called The Beat Brothers and weren't all that famous) who died on Saturday, February 16, I thought it would be fun to dive into the mythological canon and dig up some of the best and worst "Beatles Conspiracy Theories," including a few I made up, because why not?

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An Open Letter to My Neighbors: My Party Was Not a Rave

Categories: EDM, Weird

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Benjamin Leatherman / someone who likes dogs a lot
Left: a rave. Right: my party.
Dear neighbors,

I hate you. Your haircuts suck and your yard is ugly. To make matters worse, you called my landlord and then the cops on me because I was having a party you described as a "rave."


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Mars Volta Fight: Who'd Win -- Bosnian Rainbows or Anywhere?

Categories: Weird

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What would happen if Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez got violent?
Have you had you're eyes glued to the psychedelic prog-rock message boards? If not, maybe you missed the news that The Mars Volta broke up, due in large part to lead guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's focus on his other band, Bosnian Rainbows. But you probably didn't miss the news, because The Mars Volta gets a lot of mainstream attention, despite releasing sprawling, massive progressive rock albums with impossible to pronounce song titles and weirdo album art.

You see, after Volta released its sixth album, Noctourniquet, last year, the El Paso-based progressive rock group went on hiatus instead of on tour. This made TMV's other half, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, feel pretty miffed, so he publicly quit (by publicly, I mean he posted on Twitter) and effectively broke up the band after an 11-year run, asking, "What am I suppose to do be some progressive house wife that's cool with watching their partner go fuck other bands?"

But hey -- Zavala has his own side-project with Mike Watt of fIREHOSE and Christian Eric Beaulieu of Triclops! It's called Anywhere and they released a self-titled album last year.

This brings us the very important question for us bloodthirsty journalists - who would win in a fight, Bosnian Rainbows or Anywhere? BR don't have an album out until this summer, so we'll only have a few YouTube clips to go off, but we'll try to make this as fair as possible. Alright, let's dive in.

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Poll: What's Your "Forbidden Song"?

Categories: Weird

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I think everyone has a "forbidden song."

What's that? It's like, whenever I hear the tune "Freebird," whether in the car or at some party or whatever, I have to turn it off. It's like an obsessive-compulsive decision and I will be forever agitated until that song is no longer playing.

I'm not psychotic, it's just that "Freebird" was played at this funeral I went to and it really bothers me to hear that song played so nonchalantly. I can't be alone in this, especially since "Freebird" is a pretty popular funeral dirge.

(And let's not forgot about that disastrous scene in Cameron Crowe's Legolas/Kirsten Dunst vehicle Elizabethtown, when My Morning Jacket embraces its southern roots and covers the song in all its flaming, overblown glory.)

See also:

-Amazon AutoRip: Is There Any Point to Trying to Prolong the Life of the CD?
-The Pazz & Jop 2012 Critic's Poll Is Live
-Mark McGrath & Friends Cruise: Smashmouth, Gin Blossoms, & More '90s Bands -- On a Boat!

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What Is "Seapunk," and What Did Rihanna and Azealia Banks Do To It?

Categories: Weird

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Azealia Banks in the offending "Atlantis" video.
I can't believe there's actually a Twitter war going on (when isn't there a war on Twitter?) over the legitimacy of #Seapunk.

What's that "hashtag seapunk," you ask? Imagine if you took Lisa Frank's fetish for porpoises, ran it through crappy late-'90s Geocities GIFs, and added some terrible, too-clever ocean-themed puns. Now, Zombelle and others that spawned this Tumblr miscarriage are calling out Rihanna and Azealia Banks for "stealing" their "style."

See also: Erik "Riot Earp" King on Microgenres, Beatport, the Future of Moombahton, and Whether or Not Seapunk is a Joke
See also: Isaiah Toothtaker Talks New Record Sea Punk Funk (Free Download)

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